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PREVIEW: West Ham v Burnley

Tale of the tape as the Clarets head to the London Stadium

2 November 2018

The Clarets will be in the capital four times before Christmas with the first of those trips taking them to West Ham United on Saturday.

Burnley’s last experience of the London Stadium was a remarkable one with a 3-0 win in March forming part of a five-match winning streak that ultimately secured a seventh-place finish in the Premier League.

The Hammers slumped to 16th-place in the table on the back of that defeat – just three points clear of the drop zone – as the home fans showed their frustration.

David Moyes steadied the ship as West Ham went on to finish 13th, although that wasn’t enough to keep the Scot in a job.

Chris Wood, two, and Ashley Barnes scored in last season's win at West Ham

Former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini moved in during the summer and invested heavily on new players.

But, not helped by a number of injuries to potentially key players, the Irons have had a hit-and-miss start to the campaign.

Opening with four successive Premier League defeats put them on the back foot.

And despite two wins and two draws since, only twice before in the Premier League era have they managed fewer than eight points from 10 games.

That tally leaves them 13th in the table – level on points with the Clarets but two places better off on goal difference.

And despite another apparent under-current of frustration amongst supporters, Burnley boss Sean Dyche is aware that his side will face a test of their own credentials as they seek a second away win of the campaign.

 

Dyche said: “They have a lot of talent there and trying to bring that together as a team is the manager’s job.

“He will want to put his own stamp on what that group’s about.

“I don’t think he will think is the done deal yet, but I think he will be happy about certain things he’s trying to do, like most managers are.

 “They have had an indifferent start, for one reason or another.

“But they are still a good side and they still have some good individuals, so we will have to make sure we are ready for the test, and we will be.”

Team news

Midfielder Jack Cork is an injury doubt for the Clarets with his ever-present record under threat.

Ben Gibson is not yet fit but winger Aaron Lennon returns to the squad after missing last Sunday’s defeat to Chelsea.

Former Spurs man Aaron Lennon could be back in action for Burnley

The Hammers are missing a number of players but will make several changes to the side that lost to Tottenham in the League Cup on Wednesday night – with top scorer Marko Arnautovic and defender Aaron Cresswell set to return.

Captain Mark Noble is suspended and Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini, Carlos Sanchez and Andriy Yarmolenko are long-term absentees.

England internationals Andy Carroll and Jack Wilshere are heading back to fitness but won’t feature until after the next international break.

Form guide

Both sides have eight points with West Ham two places above the Clarets in 13th-spot thanks to their superior goal difference.

The Clarets are seeking a first win in four league games following back-to-back defeats to unbeaten title challengers Manchester City and Chelsea.

West Ham’s mid-week League Cup defeat to Tottenham extend their winless run to four games.

The Hammers – who lost their first four league games – have taken one point from three league games thanks to a 1-1 draw at Leicester City last weekend.

Opposition camp

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini, who is yet to get the better of Sean Dyche from two previous meetings when he was in charge of Manchester City, said: “We have the same feeling and same opinion after we finished the last game, that we did well and we created a lot of options and we deserved better results but, for different reasons, we didn’t get the results that we wanted.

“So, three points against Burnley at home must be a game we cannot fail.

“They have had the same manager for years and I expect them to continue playing the same way they did last season, with a flat back four and a lot of the same players.

“I have enough things to work out with my team to beat Burnley to worry about what Burnley have to do to beat us!”

Match stats

Saturday’s game will be Sean Dyche’s 250th league game in charge of the Clarets, with 125 in the Premier League and 125 in the Championship.

West Ham have won five of their eight Premier League meetings between the sides but the Clarets took four points from last season’s two games.

Joe Hart and West Ham's Lukasz Fabianski have both made 44 saves this season – the highest in the Premier League.

West Ham have dropped eight points from winning positions this season, more than any other side in the top flight.

Referee

Roger East

Kick-off

Saturday 3pm.

The game is West Ham’s Remembrance Day fixture.

There will be a minute’s silence before the game as a mark of respect, and also for the five people – including the Leicester City chairman – who lost their lives in the helicopter crash that followed West Ham’s game at the King Power Stadium last weekend.

The players will also wear black armbands.


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